Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Freedom for the Captives

What an incredible last few months in Pohnpei, Micronesia! Words probably couldn’t even describe all of the incredible things we have seen God do on this island. In the midst of the busy preparations for the level 2 Harvest School we have seen Gods hand in so many different ways.

Lenger, One of the beautiful outer islands we explored to send an outreach team to.
One of my favourite ministry experiences in the island, despite seeing incredible healings and testimonies, was probably seeing the transformation in “Lil’ Wayne”. Every week a small team of us go to the prison and get to spend some time singing and sharing the word with some of the wonderful men living there. However, every week without fail, we would be subjected to the demonic shouting of “lil’ Wayne – the rapper”. We wouldn’t even be able to hear the speaker because Lil’ Wayne would be rapping the same revolting line over and over again as loud as he could from his prison cell.
One week they let Lil’ Wayne join the rest of us at the meeting but he caused such a commotion – declaring himself to be a “bad-boy sinner boy” that other inmates forced him to leave. Yet on his way out he made sure to threaten and swear at one of the international missionaries on our team. Everyone waited with baited breath to see how the missionary would respond… He waited silently for Lil’ Wayne to leave… then he slowly stood up and asked for all of the inmates to pray for Lil’ Wayne their cellmate and brother in Christ. To pray that he would be completely set free from all of the emotional pain that he was suffering. They prayed beautifully and sought the Lord for Wayne’s complete freedom. Strangely after that for the rest of the night there was no more rapping from Lil’ Wayne’s cell … but that wasn’t the end…

The next week we went back to the prison and were pleasantly surprised to see a new inmate in the group. We held the meeting as usual with no interference. Seeing the inmates sing their own songs of love to Jesus is one of the most precious things I have ever seen in my life. After the meeting this “new” prisoner came and greeted us. He immediately turned his attention on the international missionary from the previous week. We were all rather surprised to discover that we were actually talking to Lil’ Wayne! He looked so different it was hard to recognise him. He no longer looked angry and bitter but joyful and with a sweet spirit. He came and humbly apologised to the international missionary for everything he has said and done before. We were all amazed to see the radical transformation of this young man. He has never shouted during any more of our meetings; instead he has listened intently with a kind and gentle heart. He is truly a free man!

This is just one of the incredible stories from this island, if only there was time to tell them all. We have been so blessed as we have prepared for the new missionary school. We have been on incredible adventures exploring outer islands and deserted Japanese bunkers from WW2, hiking up mountains, taking outreach teams into the villages and town all whilst organising cooking supplies, port-a-potty deliveries and who knows what else for this exciting new school. We have already had our first student arrive; so stay tuned as I am sure there will be plenty of exciting and adventurous stories to come!!

We are so grateful for all of your love, prayers and support!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stories from Micro by Carissa Marsh

It was so wonderful going up to spend time with the EHFC students. I’m beoming friends with some of the pohnepian girl students and look forward to concentrated time I’ll have with them in the coming two months during the mission school.

I’ve learned, and been laughed at so much while trying to learn the language. I’m learning how to say ‘goodnight’ in pohnpian. The catch is that its quite similar to ‘something smells like fish’. Its always a tossup what will be coming out of my mouth. I don’t think I’ve spit out ‘something smells like fish’ yet but whatever I say gets met with a smile or little laugh.
We were all sitting on the floor last night; lots of the local missionaries were sharing stories of pohnpei. The different things they believe, and about the local culture.
…Suddenly out of the clear blue nowhere a massive flying cockroach started to fly straight at my face! Though I’ve been places that have roaches, I’m still not a fan and have never seen them fly….especially right at me!

I did what any normal girl would do. SCREAM and run to the opposite end of the room. As I reached my safe haven I turned only in my horror to see it was coming at me again!
To the other side of the room I ran, and hid. It must have gotten board (or deaf from my screams) and flew to a window screen where it would spend an evening of rest.

I returned to the place I was sitting, only to roll on the ground laughing with the pohnpeian girls and other missionaries with me. What a sight to see me all frazzled running back and fourth because of a three inch bug. Haha. Give me a bear and I will be cautious…give me a cockroach and I’ll freak out.
The funniest thing was that nasty roach landed on my pohnpeian friend and she just brushed it off like it was an ant or mosquito.

In my day to day I’ve just been asking the Lord what missions, what love looks like in Micronesia. Its such a different place than everywhere else I’ve been. Different yet so similar in that there is such a need for the Lord there is such a need for people to see their identity in Him. Its been very insightful to just soak up stories and listen to the experiences other missionaries have had (local missionaries and international ones who have come to live). Just learning the culture right now, and learning about the people helps me to learn how to best love.

Slowly bit by bit I get more of the language. I don’t have an unrealistic expectation of learning it in a year, but I do have hopes of understanding quickly Ok enough for now. Love to you all!